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First and second degree funding (Year 5 onwards)

In your fifth year of study of Medicine or Dental Surgery, the NHS will take over as the main funding provider for your course.

Years of study include a pre-lim year and/or intercalated year, but excludes any repeat years you may have taken.

Funding from the NHS bursary scheme doesn't need to be repaid and there is no contract with the NHS after you finish your course.

Help with tuition fees

The NHS pays tuition fees regardless of family income for home UK funded students. You need to apply for the NHS Bursary so that your tuition fees are paid by the NHS.

How to apply

The School of Medicine or the School of Dentistry will compile a list of students who will be eligible for the NHS bursary and send this to the appropriate funding authority. This notification must be received by the funding office in order for an application to be processed. This process usually starts from April onwards.

The authority you deal with depends on where you lived prior to the start of your course:

Where you livedFinance authorityApplication process
WalesNHS (Wales) Student Awards Services (NHS SASYou can apply online
EnglandNHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA)You can apply online
ScotlandStudent Awards Agency for ScotlandYou can apply online
Northern IrelandStudent Finance Northern IrelandYou can apply online

The relevant funding authority will assess your application and notify the University and you of the award. If you qualify for a bursary for living costs the University Finance Office will pay it in to your bank account.

Help with living costs

Usually, the NHS only provides financial support towards living costs to home UK funded students. For further advice about eligibility for support for living costs contact the appropriate finance authority or the Advice and Money team.

NHS Bursary

A means tested NHS bursary is available to help with living costs. This is assessed against household income.

If you live in your parental home while studying your bursary entitlement will be reduced.

The table is a current rate of the NHS Bursary available from NHS (Wales) and NHS (England):

Gross household incomeNHS Bursary*
£24,279 or less£2,643

*A standard academic year runs from the third week of September to mid June. For each extra week you have to study on your course outside of this period £84 is added to the NHS Bursary.

NHS Grant

You can also apply for a non means tested NHS Grant of £1,000 per year to help with living costs.

Maintenance Loan

You will be eligible for the student loan. Your loan entitlement will depend on where you were living before the course. It is NOT based on an income assessment but it is capped because you will be in a NHS funded year. This is an indication of the maintenance loan:

Course yearStudents living in Wales prior to courseStudents living in England prior to course
Final year£5,360£2,030
Non final year (If you did a pre-lim year and/or intercalated)£5,360£2,605
 Apply through Student Finance WalesApply through Student Finance England 

Placement costs

Help with placement travel costs is not income assessed. Help is based on the cost of a return journey from your term-time address to the placement less the cost of the return journey from your term-time address to Cardiff University if you commute to study.

Children and/or adult dependants

You can apply for income assessed extra funding if you have children or an adult dependant living with you.  More information is available via your funding authority based on where you are normally domiciled in the UK as follows:

Additional learning support needs

If you require learning support related to a disability, long-term physical or mental health condition, or a specific learning difficulty, there is a non-income assessed allowance that may help with associated costs of this support. The allowance is called the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA).

To find out more, please contact our Disability and Dyslexia team at You apply for the DSA via your funding authority.

Further advice

If you require further advice and information about the funding available, please contact:

Student Funding and Advice Team